A Lighter Burden

Luminaria – cc photo by J. Delp

Do you know who we haven’t heard enough from during the pandemic?

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, respiratory therapists, hospital staff and countless other front line health workers.

It’s probably because they are struggling to stay afloat in a system that is overwhelmed with the current crisis. And when they have spoken, we haven’t done a very good job listening, or amplifying their voices.

It’s a bit dated, but I ran across this tweet from Alberta Health Services with a picture of Dr. Simon Demers-Marcil calling the family of a patient who was lost to COVID. The picture speaks volumes. The anguish and fatigue (physical and emotional) of Dr. Demers-Marcil is palpable. Unfortunately, there are thousands of these phone calls being made every day. Difficult positions made even more challenging.

I have an aunt who spent her entire career as an emergency room nurse. This is a mentally, physically, and emotionally draining job in the best of circumstances. These are not the best of circumstances.

I have heard from many who have had family members in the hospital during the pandemic who extol the dedication of hospital staff in their efforts to provide comfort and care to their loved whiles, while doing their best to provide opportunities for communication and updates. I know this has been a challenging year for many, but I can only imagine the toll the health crisis has taken on front-line workers and their families (not to mention the sacrifices they have made). I don’t think it would be unfair to say that for many, this has been analogous to a year spent in a war zone.

I also think our gratitude must extend to anyone who participates in keeping our hospital and healthcare systems running — regardless of their position.

I hope you will join me in keeping all of our doctors, nurses, first responders, health care workers, hospital staff and their patients in your daily prayers. My hope is that we will listen to the pleas of those on the front lines about how we can best support their efforts, and be willing to make small sacrifices for the greater good.

We have the ability to lighten their burden. They deserve the best we can give.